Any student under age sixteen (16) on September 15 is subject to the Attendance Cooperation Process.
When it is determined that a student in grades kindergarten through sixth grade is in violation of the school District attendance policy and procedures, the truancy officer or principal will check the Department of Human Services records to determine whether the student’s family is receiving Family Investment Program (FIP) benefits.
If the student’s family is receiving FIP benefits, the truancy officer or principal will notify DHS. DHS is then responsible for the Attendance Cooperation Process (ACP). If the student’s family is not receiving FIP benefits, the truancy officer or principal will initiate the ACP. The parent/guardian will be contacted to participate in the ACP. The truancy officer or principal may also invite juvenile court officers, the county attorney, other school officials and others deemed appropriate. If others are invited who do not have access to the student’s records either by law or a Juvenile Justice Agency Information Sharing Agreement, parental/guardian consent is needed for them to participate in the ACP.
The purpose of the ACP is to determine the cause of the student’s nonattendance, get the parties to agree to solutions addressing the nonattendance, initiate referrals to any other services that may be necessary, and to draft an agreement including all terms agreed to and future responsibilities of all parties. All parties must sign the agreement and failure to sign by the parent/guardian is considered a violation of the process and initiates the next level.
If the parents/guardians do not participate in the ACP, if the parties do not enter into an Attendance Cooperation Agreement (ACA) or if the parent/guardians violate a term of the agreement, the student is deemed truant. For FIP students and non-FIP students, the school District notifies the county attorney when students are truant. When a student is deemed truant, for FIP students, DHS is again notified and DHS then initiates the process whereby FIP benefits are reduced.